You can never have enough pitching. On Wednesday, Freddy Garcia took a line drive to the pitching hand by Edwin Encarnacion. X-rays were negative for the 35 year old, and though he believes he’ll likely miss a few days, manager Joe Girardi is less optimistic. It appears that Freddy Garcia’s next start will be pushed back a few days barring any complications, but is that enough for the right hander to be ready for the regular season?
After the being pulled from the game, his last start was cut short after pitching only three innings of work, but in the previous game Garcia threw only 33 pitches. Looking forward, it appears Garcia will only have two or three possible starts to get his stamina up to an appropriate pitch count. That leaves little room for error, especially against three young pitchers who have impressed thus far. So the question presents itself, what would have to happen for Garcia to earn a pitching spot now?
For one, there can be no complications with his “bad bruise”. Any further time away from the mound prevents him from building the strength and stamina needed by season’s start. Assuming Garcia cruises through the rest of the spring, he is now relying on one of Michael Pineda, Ivan Nova, or Phil Hughes to likewise fall to injury or implode. The chances of another starting pitcher being injured are far from zero, but the way the rest of the rotation has pitched doesn’t bode well for the implosion theory.
With Phil Hughes impressing with velocity, Ivan Nova with command, and Michael Pineda with his changeup, Freddy Garcia appears to be in last place for the rotation competition. This is probably the best case scenario for the rotation though. With years of team control and high upside, the younger pitchers present a brighter and cheaper future for the team. Given an opportunity to be the face of the Yankees’ future, the three pitchers now control their own fate.
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